Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors, including aging, noise exposure and certain genetic conditions. Ear infections can also result in temporary hearing loss due to obstruction of the middle ear.
Symptoms of Ear Infection
Ear infections are more common in children than adults but can occur at any age. If you have an ear infection, you may experience:
- Pain or pressure in your ear
- Ear drainage
Infants and young children may not be able to tell you that their ear hurts, so you may have to look for other signs, such as:
- Pulling at their ear
- Acting extra fussy or irritable
- Trouble hearing
- Seeming unsteady
How Do Ear Infections Cause Hearing Loss?
Ear infections can result in conductive hearing loss, which happens when sound cannot get through the outer or middle ear. When you have an infection in your middle ear, fluid can build up and cause temporary hearing loss that will subside after the infection resolves.
Can Ear Infections Cause Permanent Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss from a single ear infection is likely to be temporary. However, chronic ear infections may put you at risk for permanent hearing loss due to the potential damage to the ear drum and parts of the middle ear.
A study of 123 patients with chronic ear infections found that a “highly significant association was found between the presence of chronic otitis media and sensorineural hearing loss.”
If your child is prone to frequent ear infections, doctors may insert tubes into their ears to help fluid drainage and reduce the number of infections they experience.
Treating Hearing Loss Caused by Ear Infection
If you or your child is experiencing temporary hearing loss due to an ear infection, treatment with antibiotics may be required to help clear the infection up and restore hearing. Infections that aren’t bacterial will often clear up on their own, and with it, your hearing should return to normal as well.
If your hearing issues linger and you find yourself struggling to follow conversations or don’t hear the barista call your order at Honest Coffee Roasters, schedule an appointment for a hearing test.
If you are experiencing permanent hearing loss due to chronic ear infections, your audiologist can fit you with a custom pair of hearing aids to help amplify sounds and maximize your listening capabilities.
For additional information on ear infections and hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a specialist, contact North Alabama ENT Associates today.